Ntini signs off in style

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Family Announcements - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

KENT pro­duced a dom­i­nant per­for­mance to thrash LV= County Cham­pi­onship cham­pi­ons Durham by an in­nings and four runs in­side two days at the River­side on Tues­day.

Makhaya Ntini took 6-51 – in­clud­ing the fi­nal five wick­ets to fall – as Kent wrapped up vic­tory with two days and most of a ses­sion to spare to ban­ish the me­mory of the sixwicket de­feat to the same side at Can­ter­bury last week.

Af­ter the hosts were dis­missed for 121 in the first in­nings, with Am­jad Khan col­lect­ing 5-43, Dar­ren Stevens in­spired the vis­i­tors to a to­tal of 320 in re­ply with 102 from 110 balls.

Durham opener Michael Di Venuto made 86 as Durham bat­tled to make up the 199-run first in­nings deficit but with the ex­cep­tion of Ben Stokes (53), no-one could stay with him.

ROB KEY blamed Kent’s third Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion 1 de­feat against cham­pi­ons Durham at Can­ter­bury last week on a poor sec­ond in­nings bat­ting dis­play.

Eng­land Un­der-19 bats­man Ben Stokes, who scored more than 200 runs in the match with­out be­ing dis­missed, rushed the North East side to their sec­ond win of the sea­son, shortly af­ter 12.15pm on the fi­nal day, smash­ing 26 off Joe Denly’s only over, fol­low­ing up his un­beaten 161 in the first in­nings with an un­beaten 43.

Kent led by only six, de­spite Key’s im­pres­sive first in­nings dou­ble hun­dred (261), af­ter Stokes and Dale Benken­stein (114) helped Durham to score 418, Makhaya Ntini claim­ing his first first five-wicket haul for the county. How­ever, they strug­gled from the moment Key and Denly both went with the score 34.

Martin van Jaarsveld top scored with 44 but a mid­dle or­der col­lapse saw them slip from 121-4 to 1379, be­fore Ntini and Am­jad Khan added 25 for the last wicket, leav­ing Durham to score 168 to win.

Key said: “We had our chances to win and played all the cricket for two days but let it slip at cru­cial times, bowl­ing pretty badly or not bat­ting well enough when we were look­ing to get a de­cent score.

“A tar­get of 300 on that pitch on the last day would have been our game.”

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